The median annual wage for craft and fine artists was $45,080 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $96,240.
Median annual wages for craft and fine artists in May 2015 were as follows:
Artists and related workers, all other
Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators
About half of craft and fine artists were self-employed in 2014; others were employed in various industries. Earnings for self-employed artists vary widely. Some charge only a nominal fee while they gain experience and build a reputation for their work. Others, such as well-established freelance fine artists and illustrators, can earn more than salaried artists.
Most craft and fine artists work full time, although part-time and variable work schedules are also common. In addition to pursuing their work as an artist, many hold another job because it may be difficult to rely solely on income earned from selling paintings or other works of art. During busy periods, artists may work long hours to meet deadlines. Self-employed artists can set their own hours.
Craft and Fine Artists
Median annual wages, May 2015
Craft and fine artists
Art and design workers
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics